Linseed – ESCOP Herbal Monograph

Lini semen
Linum usitatissimum L.
Published 2017

Price: €20
Format: PDF; Instant Download







The herbal monograph selects and summarizes scientific studies and textbooks regarding efficacy, dosage and safety to support the therapeutic uses of linseed. This herbal drug by definition consists of the dried ripe seeds of Linum usitatissimum L.  

Studies with its main characteristic constituents mucilage polysaccharides, fixed oil and lignans are included.

The therapeutic indications are constipation, gastritis and enteritis; supportive treatment of dyslipidaemia and hypertension.

Administration of linseed addresses posology; its duration of use; contra-indications; special warnings; special precautions for use; interactions with other medicinal products; other forms of interaction; in pregnancy and lactation; its effects on ability to drive; undesirable effects; overdose.

In vitro experiments with linseed demonstrate antiproliferative effects. In vivo experiments with linseed in animals demonstrate effects on blood lipid levels and antihypertensive activity.

Pharmacological studies in humans concern effects on blood glucose levels.

Controlled clinical studies with linseed demonstrated its therapeutic use as a supportive treatment of patients with dyslipidaemia and hypertension.

Pharmacokinetics of orally administered lignans were assessed in humans.

Preclinical safety data were assessed in toxicity studies. Safety data were assessed in human studies.

The selection of literature cited in the monograph is aimed at bringing together relevant information about the possible physiological roles of linseed and its major constituents. Examples are given below.


  • Linum usitatissimum L.
  • Lini semen
  • Linseed
  • Constipation; Gastritis and enteritis; Dyslipidaemia; Hypertension;


– Baranowski M, Enns J, Blewett H, Yakandawala U, Zahradka P, Taylor CG.  Dietary flaxseed oil reduces adipocyte size, adipose monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 levels and T-cell infiltration in obese, insulin-resistant rats. Cytokine 2012; 59: 382-91.

– Bergman Jungeström M, Thompson LU, Dabrosin C. Flaxseed and Its Lignans Inhibit Estradiol-Induced Growth, Angiogenesis, and Secretion of Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor in Human Breast Cancer Xenografts In vivo. Clin Cancer Res 2007;13:1061.

– Farahpour MR, Taghikhani H, Habibi M, Zandieh MA. Wound healing activity of flaxseed Linum usitatissimum L. in rats. African Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology 2011; 5: 2386-9.

– Johnsson P, Kamal-Eldin A, Lundgren LN, Åman P. HPLC method for analysis of seco-isolariciresinol diglucoside in flaxseeds. J Agric Food Chem 2000; 48: 5216-9.

– Setchell K, Brown NM, Zimmer-Nechemias L, Wolfe B, Jha P, Heubi JE. Metabolism of Seco-isolariciresinol-Diglycoside The Dietary Precursor to The Intestinally Derived Lignan Enterolactone in Humans. Food Funct 2014; 5: 491–501.



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